By now, you are probably used to my recipes – only a few ingredients and hardly take over 30 minutes to prepare. Today’s recipe is quite different as it takes 5 hours in total to make and contains four sub-recipes. I promise it is worth it. I agree – 5 hours is a very long time to prepare the recipe, but luckily, most of it is resting time during which you can catch up on whatever tv show you are binging on or fit in a yoga session.
The bun recipe is an interesting one – the dough is proved with yeast, but after that, baking powder is also used. Sounds weird, but it works. Of course, my bao buns do not look as perfect as the store-bought ones are. But it is nice to say that mine are made from scratch and come out of the steamer piping hot and fresh.
And by ‘steamer’, I mean the homemade system that I build every time I fancy something steamed. The system consists of a big pot, small wooden basket and a plate covered with baking paper. I don’t even know why I haven’t purchased a real steamer as I am eating steamed foods at least once a month… In case you have an oven with steaming function, this should work well too, and saves you from steaming the buns in patches.
The fillings that I have recommended are relatively simple. Mushrooms take less than 10 minutes of active time and the salad and oil are quick to make too. Also, feel free to use any kind of leftovers to fill your buns.
Homemade Bao Buns with Oyster Mushrooms
Yields: about 16 buns
Cooking time: 5 hours, most of it resting time
For the buns:
18 oz all-purpose flour
1.5 tbsp sugar
0.5 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tbsp oil + extra for brushing
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp baking powder
Mix flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
Mix the yeast with 1 tbsp of lukewarm water, and then add oil, vinegar and the rest of water.
Add the wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mix until a dough forms, and then knead for about 10 minutes until you have a very smooth ball of dough. Place it to an oiled bowl, cover with a damp kitchen towel and leave to rest for 2 hours.
After the resting time, push the air out of the dough, sprinkle on the baking powder and knead for another 5 minutes. Roll the dough to a long sausage, about 3.5 cm diameter, cut it to 16 equal parts and roll each of them to a little ball.
Form the buns starting with the piece you rolled first. Roll the ball to an oval shape with a thickness of about 0.5 cm. Brush the oval lightly with oil, brush a chopstick with oil, and place it in the middle of the dough, so it divides the longer side of the oval into two parts. Then lift one side on top of the other one and carefully slide out the chopstick.
Repeat the same process with the rest of the dough balls and place them all on a tray covered with baking paper. Cover with lightly oiled clingfilm and leave to rest for another 1.5 hours.
Steam the buns for about 8 minutes until they are nice and fluffy.
For the mushrooms:
18 oz oyster mushrooms
5 tbsp hoisin sauce
The juice of ½ lemon
Oil for frying
Tear the mushrooms to bite-sized pieces, mix with hoisin sauce, lemon juice, and salt, and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Fry in a drop of oil until they are nice and crispy. It doesn’t take too long, maybe 5 minutes.
For the salad:
¼ red cabbage
3 stalks of celery
1 spring onion
A handful of coriander
1 tbsp mild-tasting oil
2 red chilies (less if you are not a spice lover)
Chop the red cabbage as thin as you can and mix with chopped celery, spring onion, and coriander.
Season with lemon, salt, and chili, add oil, massage the salad with your hands and let the flavors mingle for at least 30 minutes.
For the oil:
4 tbsp of mild-tasting oil
2 spring onions
A pinch of salt
Chop 1 of your spring onions as thinly as you can and set aside.
Place the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and whizz to a smooth consistency.
Mix in the spring onion slices.
By Kadri Raig
Kadri is a food blogger and yoga teacher from Estonia. She loves healthy food and cooking and for her, these two are often the same thing. Cooking meals from scratch, you know exactly what goes in it and even without holding back with sugar or fat we end up using a lot less compared to ready-made frozen stuff from the supermarket.
She does love to spend time in the kitchen, but most of her recipes are simple and don’t take more than 20 minutes of active cooking time. She thinks that everybody can find time to cook healthy food at home, it is just a question of planning. "I work in an office full time, teach yoga 7-8 hours a week and write a blog. So if I manage to cook most of my meals, then so do you!" Connect with Kadri and enjoy many more of her delicious healthy recipes on her website here: http://www.kahvliga.ee/.
Practice 35 minutes of FREE yoga before or after making these buns, right now!
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